Association Between Anatomical Location of Surgically Induced Lesions and Postoperative Seizure Outcome in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

Neurology. 2022 Jan 11;98(2):e141-e151. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000013033. Epub 2021 Oct 29.


Background and objectives: To determine the association between surgical lesions of distinct gray and white structures and connections with favorable postoperative seizure outcomes.

Methods: Patients with drug-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) from 3 epilepsy centers were included. We employed a voxel-based and connectome-based mapping approach to determine the association between favorable outcomes and surgery-induced temporal lesions. Analyses were conducted controlling for multiple confounders, including total surgical resection/ablation volume, hippocampal volumes, side of surgery, and site where the patient was treated.

Results: The cohort included 113 patients with TLE (54 women; 86 right-handed; mean age at seizure onset 16.5 years [SD 11.9]; 54.9% left) who were 61.1% free of disabling seizures (Engel Class 1) at follow-up. Postoperative seizure freedom in TLE was associated with (1) surgical lesions that targeted the hippocampus as well as the amygdala-piriform cortex complex and entorhinal cortices; (2) disconnection of temporal, frontal, and limbic regions through loss of white matter tracts within the uncinate fasciculus, anterior commissure, and fornix; and (3) functional disconnection of the frontal (superior and middle frontal gyri, orbitofrontal region) and temporal (superior and middle pole) lobes.

Discussion: Better postoperative seizure freedom is associated with surgical lesions of specific structures and connections throughout the temporal lobes. These findings shed light on the key components of epileptogenic networks in TLE and constitute a promising source of new evidence for future improvements in surgical interventions.

Classification of evidence: This study provides Class II evidence that for patients with TLE, postoperative seizure freedom is associated with surgical lesions of specific temporal lobe structures and connections.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy* / diagnostic imaging
  • Drug Resistant Epilepsy* / surgery
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe* / diagnostic imaging
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe* / pathology
  • Epilepsy, Temporal Lobe* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Seizures / diagnostic imaging
  • Seizures / etiology
  • Seizures / surgery
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / pathology
  • Temporal Lobe / surgery
  • Treatment Outcome
  • White Matter* / diagnostic imaging
  • White Matter* / pathology
  • White Matter* / surgery